Age and growth of round gobies in Lake Michigan, with preliminary mortality estimation

Bin Huo, Charles P. Madenjian, Cong X. Xie, Yingming Zhao, Timothy P. O'Brien, Sergiusz J. Czesny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is a prevalent invasive species throughout Lake Michigan, as well as other Laurentian Great Lakes, yet little information is available on spatial variation in round goby growth within one body of water. Age and growth of round goby at three areas of Lake Michigan were studied by otolith analysis from a sample of 659 specimens collected from 2008 to 2012. Total length (TL) ranged from 48 to 131. mm for Sturgeon Bay, from 50 to 125 mm for Waukegan, and from 54 to 129. mm for Sleeping Bear Dunes. Ages ranged from 2 to 7 years for Sturgeon Bay, from 2 to 5. years for Waukegan, and from 2 to 6. years for Sleeping Bear Dunes. Area-specific and sex-specific body-otolith relationships were used to back-calculate estimates of total length at age, which were fitted to von Bertalanffy models to estimate growth rates. For both sexes, round gobies at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Waukegan grew significantly faster than those at Sturgeon Bay. However, round goby growth did not significantly differ between Sleeping Bear Dunes and Waukegan for either sex. At all three areas of Lake Michigan, males grew significantly faster than females. Based on catch curve analysis, estimates of annual mortality rates ranged from 0.79 to 0.84. These relatively high mortality rates suggested that round gobies may be under predatory control in Lake Michigan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-720
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Age structure
  • Growth variation
  • Mortality
  • Round goby
  • Top-down control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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